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HOME : Greek Coins : Greek City States : Ionian Silver Didrachm of Magnesia
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Ionian Silver Didrachm of Magnesia - C.2048
Origin: City of Magnesia
Circa: 350 BC to 320 BC

Collection: Numismatics
Medium: Silver

Location: United States
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Obverse: An Armed Horseman Advancing to the Right

Reverse: A Humped Bull Butting to the Left, Legend "MAGN" above and Magistrate's Name "LUKOMHD" Below, Encircled by Maeander Pattern

Magnesia-on-Maeander was an old Ionian city once located on the river Maeander, which is now silted up. The city was founded in the eighth century B.C. by Greek colonists from Magnesia in Thessaly. They sought a new life in Ionia away from the overpopulation and poverty that ran rampant in mainland Greece at this time. In the seventh century the city was refounded as a trading colony of Miletos. The city, which commanded the resources of a rich river valley, was normally under the domination of foreign powers from the late seventh century on. The Magnesians were subject to Lydian and Persian kings during the seventh and sixth centuries BC. In antiquity, Magnesia was famous for its sanctuary of Artemis Leukophryene. This large religious structure was redesigned in the third century B.C. by the Greek architect, Hermogenes. The temple was highly praised in the ancient world and had a profound impact on Roman architecture. It provided some of the laws of proportion for Ionic buildings that Vitruvius outlines in his architectural manual.

How many hands have touched a coin in your pocket or your purse? What eras and lands have the coin traversed on its journey into our possession? As we reach into our pockets to pull out some change, we rarely hesitate to think of who touched the coin before us, or where the coin will venture to after us. More than money, coins are a symbol of the state that struck them, of a specific time and place, whether contemporary currencies or artifacts of long forgotten empires. This stunning hand-struck coin reveals an expertise of craftsmanship and intricate sculptural detail that is often lacking in contemporary machine-made currencies. This coin is a memorial to an ancient city passed from the hands of civilization to civilization, from generation to generation that still appears as vibrant today as the day it was struck.
- (C.2048)


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